Ilkay Gundogan is one of the many midfielders on the radars of Barcelona as they look to reinforce the centre of the park ahead of Sergio Busquets’ impending summer exit.
The German international is a player reportedly admired by manager Xavi Hernandez, who is said to be keen on signing him next summer.
Gundogan is in the final year of his contract with Manchester City and would be available for a free transfer in 2023, making him an attractive prospect for the Blaugrana, who are still reeling from financial problems.
However, according to reports, as relayed by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have been dealt a setback in their pursuit of Gundogan as the midfielder may have already decided to renew his contract with Manchester City.
The 32-year-old has been with the Premier League giants since 2016, arriving at the club at the same time as Pep Guardiola. And he has been a key member of the success that Man City have achieved over the past six years
This season itself, the former Borussia Dortmund ace has scored and assisted two goals apiece in 20 matches across all competitions. And even though Germany were eliminated from the World Cup recently, the veteran star gave a good account of himself.
So, it is understandable why Xavi and Barcelona might be interested in signing Gundogan, given the experience and winning mentality he would bring to the table.
However, as per the report, Gundogan having been aware of Barça’s interest and weighed the option of a move, is closer to deciding to renew with Manchester City and continue playing under Guardiola.
The Catalan manager himself recently signed a new contract with the reigning Premier League champions. It may have played a role in Gundogan’s reported stance as he had previously hinted that Guardiola’s future would have an influence on his decision.